In the development of antisense therapeutics, there have been a number of hybridization-independent effects characterized for phosphorothioate oligodeoxynucleotides. One such effect is the transient prolongation of clotting times following intravenous infusion of high doses. In this study, inhibition of clotting times was characterized by determining the time course of both APTT and plasma oligonucleotide following intravenous infusion of ISIS 2302 in cynomolgus monkeys. Prolongation of APTT was also achieved by addition of ISIS 2302 to citrated blood from untreated monkeys, allowing the investigation of the mechanism of inhibition in vitro. Results from this study clearly indicate that the intrinsic pathway (APTT) was more sensitive to inhibition than the extrinsic pathway (PT). The prolongation of APTT was also shown to be transient and closely correlated with plasma oligonucleotide concentrations. The extent of APTT prolongation can be controlled by minimizing peak plasma oligonucleotide concentrations through lowering the dose or prolonging infusion duration. Direct addition of ISIS 2302 to blood produced quantitatively similar inhibition of clotting times. This effect was similar for a number of different phosphorothioate oligodeoxynucleotides, but oligonucleotides containing phosphodiester linkages and 2'-propoxy linkages were much less inhibitory. Additional in vitro studies indicated that the mechanism of inhibition was independent of that of heparin and possibly involved selective inhibition of the intrinsic pathway as well as the common clotting pathway. Investigation of selective clotting factors indicated that there was no direct inhibition of the enzymatic activity of factor Xa, XIa, or thrombin using chromogenic substrates. However, ISIS 2302 did produce a concentration-dependent increase in clotting time when fibrinogen was used as the substrate for thrombin.